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(Signpost Archives)

Among the crowds of capped and gowned Wildcats at the Weber State University commencement will be 40 athletes from a variety of sports, who earned their diplomas and the opportunity to walk across the stage as graduates. These 40 athletes represent 14 different teams from nine different sports at Weber State.

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(Signpost Archives)

This is the end of their Weber State careers for most of the athletes. Some have the chance to stick around for another year of eligibility for graduating early, and others will leave their athletics in the past in search of master’s degrees.

The football team leads the pack with nine graduates in the spring of 2018. Jay Hill and the rest of the coaching staff will have helped Devan Alldredge, Justus Brown, Rayshawn Henderson, Cardon Malan, Likio Pope, Brady Simpson, Mitch Tulane and Calvin Steyn become Weber State graduates.

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Ryan Richardson, right, looks for an opening in the Idaho defense. (Signpost Archives)

While only Henderson and Pope played for four years at WSU, the nine players combined played in 178 games going back to the 2014 season. Henderson’s 45 games played were the most of any player in the graduating class.

Three Wildcats from the men’s and women’s basketball teams will also be among the graduates — Jocelyn Adams from the women’s team and both Ryan Richardson and Zach Braxton from the men’s team.

While Adam’s and Richardson’s athletic careers at WSU are over, Braxton still has one more year of eligibility despite earning his bachelor’s degree in
communications.

“I wanted to get a Master’s of Professional Communications, but because all of the classes are at night and we travel a lot, it would have been rather difficult to complete it while I was still at Weber State,” Braxton said. “So I decided to start a professional sales bachelor’s degree and will be able to finish in the spring
of 2019.”

There are only two sports in the WSU athletics community that will be graduating one athlete each in the class of 2018: volleyball’s Jessica Hover and soccer’s Shailyn Jenkins, who played 387 minutes in seven
games played.

One Wildcat from each of the men’s and women’s tennis teams will become Weber State sports alums: Dominique Beauvais, who finished her career with 35 singles wins and 20 doubles wins, and Scott Hintze, who will cross the stage after having started at WSU in the 2011–12 school year with the tennis team. After going on an LDS mission, he came back to the Wildcats and finished his playing career in 2017 with seven singles and six doubles victories.

Five members of the Weber State cross country teams will have the opportunity to walk, not run, across the stage and receive their diplomas. These athletes are Kim Carlson, Paige Dilmore, Lauren Griffith, Candace Sharp and Preston Johnson, the only graduating member of the
men’s team.

There are also 13 graduating track and field athletes — nine women and four men. The Wildcats will see several of the greatest track and field athletes in university history graduate, in Tawnie Moore and Ellie Child, along with their teammates Abbigael Brecht, Whitney Fowers, Michaella Hintze, Brittney Russell, Shealynn Wacaser, Rebecca Wenz and Deidre Wilson.

The men’s team will be represented by Ryan Carlson, Anthony Gregory, Justin Herbert and Logan Leavitt, three of whom spent all four years at WSU while Herbert joined the Wildcats after a stint at Western Illinois University.

Weber State had their own hole in one when they picked up the three golfers who are now members of the class of 2018. Sierra Harr and Michelle Tierney will represent the women’s team while Lee Shepherd is the lone graduating member of the men’s golf team.

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Catcher Molly Horne catches a ball thrown by her teammate during the game. (Signpost Archives)

Harr’s best tournament was the Rose City Collegiate Tournament in 2017 when she finished three over par. Tierney joined the Wildcats after transferring from Rogers State University. Her career high as a Wildcat was 16-over par in two different tournaments. Shepherd came to Ogden via England before posting a career-high two-under par and fourth place finish in the OGIO Utah Invitational in 2016.

Four members of the Weber State softball team, a team with a majority of underclassmen, will be graduating before their senior season ends. Kirtlyn Bohling, McKinley Brinkerhoff, Molly Horne and Carley Campbell will graduate with their fellow Wildcats and will then play in the Big Sky Conference softball tournament beginning May 10.

For all of the students and student-athletes who will be able to call themselves Weber State graduates after April 27, their lives will be forever changed by not only the destination but the journey and what it means to be WSU alumni.

“It feels like I’ve accomplished something and not just finished more school,” Braxton said.

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